Penguins notebook: Newly acquired Hagelin contributes to victory
Carl Hagelin didn't question why the Penguins and Anaheim chose to execute and announce their trade well before dawn Saturday morning.
Hagelin, no stranger to the importance of speed, appreciated how fast the Penguins wanted to get him to Pittsburgh and put him on the ice for Sunday's 5-0 win over Carolina at Consol Energy Center.
“I kind of liked the fact it was an early game,” Hagelin said of the 3 p.m. start. “Just get in it right away and don't worry about practicing or anything. Just get out there and do my thing.”
He finished with four shots on goal, tied with Evgeni Malkin for the team high, in 13 minutes, 15 seconds of ice time. On a line with Malkin and Phil Kessel, Hagelin helped set up the Penguins' first goal when he raced to the crease and positioned himself in front of his defender to create a shooting lane for Olli Maatta.
Given his lack of preparation time with his new team, Hagelin received little in the way of instruction on what to do from coach Mike Sullivan and the Penguins' skaters.
“They told me to play the way I can and not think too much, and I think that's what I did tonight,” Hagelin said.
Extended pauses in action during Sunday's game popped up because of goalie Marc-Andre Fleury and defenseman David Warsofsky, who needed time to collect themselves.
Warsofsky, whose legs were taken out by a fallen referee while he skated backward at full speed, hit the back of his head off the ice and needed assistance from teammates to get to the locker room.
Sullivan said after the game Warsofsky, who did not return to action, underwent evaluation. Sullivan did not yet know any test results.
Fleury stayed in the game after teammates Bryan Rust and Ben Lovejoy slid into him as he crouched in his crease during the second period. He stretched his legs and made sure his knees felt OK as the arena's ice crew cleaned snow off the playing surface.
“Somebody got me lower than I expected, but it's fine,” Fleury said.
The availability of defenseman Kris Letang, out of Sunday's game with an unspecified upper-body injury, will be a game-time decision Monday in St. Louis, Sullivan said.
The Penguins' 13th power-play goal in 13 games involved the kind of good fortune that eluded the team during its 0-for-19 drought with a man advantage in December.
Kessel, situated along the left wall near the top of Carolina's defensive zone, zipped a puck toward the far post.
Sidney Crosby swooped in to redirect the shot into the net with his right skate.
“I had one right on my tape in the last game and missed a wide open net, so I'll take them any way they come right now,” Crosby said.
Officials reviewed action twice before confirming the goal. First, they studied to see if Crosby used a kicking motion.
Then, Carolina challenged the goal and questioned if Crosby had gone offside earlier in the sequence.